LCEC – Lee County Electric Cooperative


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Net Metering Program

Net Metering Program

LCEC has developed a program for environmentally conscious customers by providing a means to interconnect their renewable generation systems (RGS) including photovoltaic systems (PV) to LCEC’s power grid.

LCEC Net Metering Guidelines

The LCEC Net Metering program allows LCEC members with a renewable generation system (RGS) to offset all or part of their energy use. To offset energy use, the output from the member’s RGS must be used downstream of the meter where it is connected.

Energy not consumed when it is produced is sent to the grid as excess energy and is accumulated and accounted for in “reserves” to be drawn upon as needed to offset future energy use from LCEC. For billing cycle months January through November, any accumulated excess energy in “reserves” will be carried forward for use in the subsequent billing month. In the last billing cycle month of each calendar year (December) all excess energy accrued as kilowatt hours (kWh) in “reserves” will be trued up and a check will be mailed to the member. The excess kWh accounted for in reserves at the end of the December billing period will be multiplied by the “as available rate” as provided by LCEC’s Wholesale Power Supplier to calculate the dollar amount. Since the “as available rate” is variable and is less than the retail rate, it is prudent for members to install a RGS that produces up to the amount of energy the member uses in a year.

In addition and on an annual basis, LCEC will perform a rate comparison analysis that compares billed retail charges under the net metering service for the prior calendar year to charges that the member would otherwise have been billed for the same consumption under the applicable rate if member was not receiving the net metering service. For each month where retail charges would have been less, LCEC will provide retail credit to the member. The rate comparison analysis results in members being charged the lower of the compared rates each month. The annual true-up of all excess energy accrued kWh and the rate comparison analysis are defined in the LCEC Rate Schedule Net Metering Rider.

Guidelines:

  • Operation of the RGS, except for testing and inspection, prior to the installation of the new LCEC bidirectional meter is prohibited and may result in meter tampering penalties. Members will not receive credit for excess kWh generation for periods of operation prior to the installation of the bidirectional meter.
  • A manual disconnect switch is required for RGS installations greater than 10 kilowatts or Tier 2 and Tier 3 RGS installations. The manual disconnect switch should disconnect only the renewable source and not the entire member service. The manual disconnect switch for Tier 2 systems shall be installed as shown in the LCEC Electric Service and Meter Requirements (ESMR) Handbook.
  • The RGS must shut down when the LCEC grid shuts down in order to prevent dangerous back feed. This is required to protect the public, LCEC employees and contractors who may be working on the grid.
  • The gross power rating or the alternating current (AC) rating for the RGS is the direct current (DC) rating multiplied by 0.85. The AC rating also determines the tier that the RGS falls under for interconnection purposes. There are three tiers for RGS size:
    • Tier 1 = 10 kW or less
    • Tier 2 = above 10 kW and up to 100 kW
    • Tier 3 = above 100 kW and up to 1,000 kW (1 megawatt)
  • The member on the account must complete the following before the RGS can be operational. Once all documentation has been received, LCEC will install the bidirectional meter.
    • Application and Compliance Form
    • Interconnection Agreement
    • Proof of inspection by the local authorities
    • Pay an application fee to LCEC
    • Proof of insurance in the amounts specified in the Tier 2 and Tier 3 Interconnection Agreements

Benefits of Net Metering

  • Offsets electricity costs
  • Reduces dependence on fossil fuels
  • Excess energy rolls forward each month
  • Customer receives credit for excess energy left over at the end of the calendar year
  • Encourages use of renewable energy sources
  • Reduces healthcare costs associated with air pollution
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